My day

The INS has been renamed the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Since immigration comes before citizenship, they probably should have been the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services, but I imagine someone saw the obvious problem with that. (“Twenty Muslim men were rounded up by the DICS last night in San Francisco.”) Immigration is also now part of the Department of Homeland Security. Hence we have the deliciously ironic situation of the JFK Federal Building housing the Department of Homeland Security.

I’m legal

Please note that the Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence that you filed has been granted. You are deemed to be a lawful permanent resident of the United States as of the date of your original admission or adjustment of status. […Instructions for going to the JFK building and presenting them with the letter, two photos, my current card, my passport, and form I-89 omitted…] Once you have done this you will receive a new card in the mail.

Heartstopping phone call

I’d just been reading Privacy International’s report on their stupid security contest when the telephone rang. The caller ID said UNKNOWN NUMBER. I answered it, and a female voice announced that she was from the Department of Homeland Security. Time seemed to slow down for a few moments. Then she continued that she worked for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Oh yeah, INS was moved into Homeland Security. I remember now.

Your tax dollars at work

Well, I spent the morning, and most of the afternoon, at the INS. I arrived around 09:00, and the woman at the entry desk asked me what I was there for. An answer of “I need a second temporary visa extension to cover processing delays in my I-751 application to remove temporary status on a permanent resident card” got me a ticket with the number 465 on it. I sat down and looked at the “Now Serving” board.

Visa process

Some 50 weeks after I sent the latest stage of papers for my permanent ‘green card’ application in for processing, and some three years after the process was started, I’ve received a letter saying that my case has been relocated to Boston and they’ll contact me when they’re ready for interview. If it’s like two years ago, that means we just have to get through the interview and it’ll all be over.

Instant ditz, just add stress

It’s February 1st. My current “permanent” resident card expires on the 8th. I filed the paperwork in late November—you’re not allowed to file until 90 days before the card expires. Unfortunately, the INS service center in Vermont is currently taking 4-5 months to send out receipts (according to the national service center), followed by another 9-10 months to process the paperwork. Since I rather need to be able to keep working, I asked the national service center person for suggestions, and was told to go visit the local INS office and ask for a temporary visa and work permit extension.

For this, I paid $125

The INS Vermont “Service” Center is unreachable by phone. The line is constantly busy, I’ve been trying for three days, hitting the redial button maybe a hundred times. I tried *66, but that’s disabled for toll-free numbers, and the INS carefully doesn’t publish a toll number. So I called the national service center. They told me that it typically takes four months for the INS to send out a receipt saying that they actually received your application.

Visa update

Lunch date with Mark. He wasn’t dressed quite as Newbury Street this time, and didn’t seem as incongruous in the mall. Filled in the forms to get my visa made permanent. Tomorrow I have to take a bunch of documents to work and get them photocopied—insurance forms, tax returns, apartment leases, and other things to demonstrate that sara and I really are married and living together, and not just pretending so I can get a visa.